Dolores B. Njoku, MD, an esteemed clinician, researcher, and mentor, was installed as the Rudolph L. and Mary Frances Wise Endowed Chair in Pediatric Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis on Monday, May 8, 2023.
Dr. Njoku, who also serves as a vice chair in the Department of Anesthesiology at the School of Medicine and anesthesiologist-in-chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, researches liver injury caused by immune system responses that are triggered by certain medications, including anti-seizure drugs and antibiotics. Through her work, Dr. Njoku aims to identify specific components of immune system proteins that may initiate autoimmune reactions in the liver to uncover the molecular pathways involved in these reactions.
In her installation address titled “Mechanistic Insights into NASH-Associated Cardiomyopathy,” Dr. Njoku captivated the audience with her research findings, illuminating the intricate mechanisms underlying cardiomyopathy associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Her expertise and profound understanding of this subject brought forth valuable insights, potentially paving the way for novel therapeutic approaches to address the heart conditions prevalent in patients with NASH.
Dr. Njoku was installed by Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh, the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor and head of the Department of Anesthesiology, St. Louis Children’s Hospital President, Trish Lollo, MPH, and David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor. This distinguished appointment not only acknowledges Dr. Njoku’s outstanding achievements but also demonstrates the confidence and support of the institution in her future endeavors.
The Rudolph L. and Mary Frances Wise Endowed Chair in Pediatric Anesthesiology was established in 2018. This professorship is a testament to the generosity of Rudolph L. and Mary Frances Wise, who made substantial contributions to various local organizations, including St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis. Their philanthropic support has enabled the creation of this prestigious chair, which serves as a platform for accomplished individuals like Dr. Njoku to further her impactful work and enhance our understanding of devastating diseases like NASH, which affect both children and adults.
“Dr. Njoku exemplifies the pinnacle of academic anesthesiologists, and her appointment as the Wise Professor of Pediatric Anesthesiology is a true testament to her remarkable capabilities and dedication to patient care,” said Dr. Avidan. “Few clinicians possess her laser-like focus on patient safety, and this prestigious honor is a well-deserved recognition of her outstanding contributions,” he continued.
Dr. Njoku continues to push the boundaries of knowledge in the field of anesthesiology through her research, commitment to mentorship, and exceptional clinical skills. Dr. Njoku’s expertise and dedication will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of pediatric anesthesiology and the well-being of patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and beyond.